Could Felipe Anderson Become West Ham’s New Di Canio Or Payet?

West Ham United have smashed their transfer record by signing Brazilian attacker Felipe Anderson in an initial £36m deal from Lazio, a fee which could rise to £41.5m.

The new signing has set himself some pretty impressive goals:

“West Ham is a club with a lot of tradition. Lots of great players have played here, like Bobby Moore, Carlos Tevez and Di Canio,” 

“I’m aiming big. Who knows, maybe I could hit their heights and be a legend here too. I’m really happy to be here. It’s a dream come true.”

In Anderson, The Hammers have signed an extremely creative talent and a maverick who could follow in the footsteps of Paulo Di Canio and Dimitri Payet.

Since arriving in Rome in 2013, Felipe has scored twenty-five Serie A goals and created twenty-seven assists for Lazio teammates. During the last campaign the Brazilian capped player scored seven and had ten assists in twenty-eight appearances in Serie A and the Europa League.

The attacking midfielder has been linked with Manchester United, PSG and Chelsea in the past but it’s West Ham that have finally moved and taken him away from The Eternal City.

The above tweet from Italian football expert Adam Digby probably shows us why the bigger sides have decided not to snap up the player.

Yet that hit or miss type of talent has went to London before now and shone for a Hammers jersey.

Both Di Canio and Payet had similar reputations before they joined West Ham and the home support fell in love with their skill, flamboyance and their ability to change games. The Irons fans will forgive certain players certain shortcomings, like defensive frailties, if they show a bit of desire and creative tendencies that will get the support off their seats.

Players love to be adored and that’s why the likes of Carlos Tevez, Di Canio and Payet were able to excel at West Ham. They knew the fans would back them as long as they were being entertained.

Anderson is a very versatile star and can play on either wing or in the hole behind the main striker(s). He likes to take the direct route, running at considerable pace and dribbling past opponents. He can also pull off the tricks that commit opponents before he skips beyond them.

The twenty-five year old has a keen eye for a defence splitting pass or he can take an effort from distance.

It will be interesting to see how new Hammers’ boss Manuel Pellegrini uses the Brazilian. The Chilean gaffer will also have to be on hand to help his new signing settle into the Premier League style.

West Ham Utd have been busy this summer. They’ve brought in Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks and Andriy Yarmolenko and these are players that definitely strengthen the Irons squad but for me Felipe Anderson should be the jewel in the crown!

Congrats to West Ham United on swooping in and getting a maverick talent. Let’s hope Felipe Anderson can be that golden man that gets the supporters on their feet at the London Stadium.

Can Resilient Croatia Actually Win This World Cup?

With a population of just four million and a national football team that’s been playing competitive football for just twenty-four years, Croatia are punching above their weight as they play in their first ever World Cup final later today.

Yet we shouldn’t be completely surprised as many of us pick them as dark horses in whatever tournament we see them in.

In their first qualifying campaign for a major finals, the Croats topped their group as they headed to Euro 96. International giants Italy were in second place due to Croatia’s superior goal difference. In the tournament it’s self they reached the quarter-finals with a wonderful Davor Suker lob over Denmark’s Peter Schmeichel announcing the Vatreni onto the world footballing scene.

The small Balkan country then qualified for their first World Cup at France 98.

They once again navigated themselves out of the group stages. In the second round they managed to produce a narrow victory over Romania. In the quarters Croatia stunned Germany with a 3-0 victory. That stupendous triumph took them into the semi-final, where they had to face hosts France. The Croatian side took the lead but it was short lived and a brace from French fullback Lillian Thuram was enough to see the French go to the final and eventually win their first World Cup trophy.

Croatia would end that campaign by winning the third placed play-off and Suker also won the Golden Boot award after scoring six goals, beating the likes of Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta and Christian Vieri to the accolade.

From that moment on the footballing world always sat up an took notice of Croatia. They’ve always produced strong defenders, technically gifted stars and reliable goal-scorers. This squad still has players that possess those attributes.

The main thing, that I believe this squad has, is togetherness and resilience.

It might seem strange to say togetherness considering striker Nikola Kalinic left the squad after he was sent home because he refused to come onto the pitch as a substitute in their opening group game but the Croatian side have seemed stronger after that incident.

The team battle as one and fight for the badge. They have each others backs and protect their star players.

They’ve shown tremendous spirit and hunger throughout the tournament. They’ve also fought extremely hard to get to this final.

In each of the knockout games, Croatia have comeback from a goal down to win the game by the end of extra-time or after a penalty shoot-out.

No one gave them a chance when they faced Argentina in the group stages, yet they recorded a fantastic 3-0 win.

Against England, people stated that Croatia wouldn’t have the legs to compete especially if it went into extra-time again. Of course the English side took an early lead and it did go into extra-time. Yet it was during the second-half and in the added periods that Croatia took the game by the scruff of the neck and outfought their opponents.

I think people underestimated the experience within the Croatian squad.

When they needed to relieve some of the pressure at the back, they’d give the ball to Luka Modric and he’d use the outside of his foot to play and excellent ball out to the opposite wing. Suddenly after having to defend for a lengthy period they were now on a counter attack.

Winger Ivan Perisic played to his strengths and to England’s weaknesses. The Inter Milan man started to come in more from the wing and use his strength and height to alienate Kyle Walker, allowing him to score and assist in the winner.

You then had full-back Sime Vrsaljko, who was meant to be carrying an injury, coming up and down the right touchline giving his all for the full 120 minutes!

So can they beat France and win the World Cup?

Well you’d be foolish to bet against them.

They’ll come into the match as second favourites but when you look at their performances against Argentina and England, they’ve played at their best as perceived underdogs.

You can’t discount a team that has the likes of Modric, Perisic, Mario Mandzukic, Dejan Lovren, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic in it?

They have given their all in this tournament and now they need to go out there and put everything on the line one last time.

They’ve clearly got the hunger and desire to make Croatia world champions but in France they could be meeting their biggest test yet. It will be about staying tight, taking your chances and holding onto the result. You can’t say Croatia aren’t capable of doing that!

 

Rangers Still Need To Bring In An Experienced Forward

Rangers started their season on Thursday and the Scottish Premiership side managed to grab a two nil win over Macedonian side FC Shkupi at Ibrox in their opening Europa League fixture.

New Gers boss Steven Gerrard took positives from his side’s performance:

“There are a lot of positives to take from the game. We have won it, we got the clean sheet and I thought we defended really well.”

One thing Gerrard will be hoping for is that his forward players manage to become more ruthless as the season goes on.

In particular, Alfredo Morelos and Josh Windass weren’t at their best in front of goal and seemed to lack match sharpness (understandable given it was just their first competitive match).

Now I believe both will pick up when the domestic season begins and they’ll soon be back amongst the goals but when you look at the Rangers squad you feel that the new gaffer would still like to add an experienced hitman to his ranks.

In terms of out and out strikers, Colombian Morelos still looks to be the best within the squad. He’s still young, just turning twenty-two in the summer, and he has a lot of strengths within his game. But as we saw last season El Bufalo does go through lean spells.

Gerrard has brought in twenty-one year old forward Umar Sadiq on a season long loan from AS Roma. The Nigerian under-23 international enjoyed a loan spell at NAC Breda last term, scoring five goals in twelve Eredivisie games but he’s still pretty raw and might need time to find his feet in Scotland.

Zak Rudden did well when he came on in a recent friendly win over Bury but at eighteen years of age, you can’t imagine he’ll be used regularly in the first team next season.

The most experienced forward in the Gers squad is Eduardo Herrera. The twenty-nine year old Mexican wasn’t overly impressive in his debut season and it’s thought that the club are trying to offload the striker this summer.

So looking at it, you’ve got to believe that Rangers are a bit bare up-top and need an elder statesman that can help the youngsters throughout the upcoming campaign.

They’ve had it in recent seasons with Kenny Miller but with the veteran leaving the club under a cloud and now managing at Livingston there’s no longer an elder statesman to help lead the line.

During their preseason trip to Spain, Gerrard said it was an area they were looking at improving upon:

“When a legend goes out the door, and someone as good as Kenny Miller, whose been a goal scorer throughout his career, it’s a very difficult void to fill. Big shoes to fill.

“So it’s important that we try to get that one right. It is an area we’re looking at.”

On Thursday, you could see that the team lacked composure and possibly height in the frontline.

It’ll be interesting to see who Steven Gerrard brings in to give his side more experience in the forward positions.

You Can See Why Man United Are Still Keen On Croatian Star Ivan Perisic

It’s being reported that Manchester United could be back in for Inter Milan attacker Ivan Perisic after the Croatian helped down England in their recent World Cup semi-final.

Man United boss Jose Mourinho really wanted to bring the winger to Old Trafford last summer but couldn’t do a deal with his former Italian employers.

The Red Devils boss has since come out and explained why he was interested in Ivan:

‘Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others,’ 

‘Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative.’

‘But he is also physical, very physical. Fantastic in the air.’

His performances for Croatia will have done nothing to dampen Mourinho’s admiration of the player. He’s bagged two goals and one assist so far for his nation in Russia.

Perisic works extremely hard for his team, a quality that he shares with most of his compatriots.

In the game against England, Ivan Perisic was extremely influential in getting Croatia through. He majestically equalised with a fine opportunistic finish and then his considerable leap meant he could flick on an assist for Mario Mandzukic’s winner.

He’s an intelligent player, who times his runs perfectly and that creates a host of problems for the opposition. His strength also make it difficult for full-backs to shrug him off of the ball.

Another major quality that makes him an ideal signing for Man United is his delivery into the box. He has a wicked cross on him and it usually comes in with pinpoint accuracy. You can imagine that Romelu Lukaku would be delighted if he had Ivan on the wings feeding him chance after chance.

Perisic is also a versatile forward who can play on either wing or as a number ten. He seems to be best on the left and United have had issues on that side with Alexis Sanchez not settling out there since his arrival in January. Having the twenty-nine year old on the left wing would allow the Chilean attacker to go in the middle playing behind Lukaku.

In Serie A last term, the Croat international ended the campaign with twelve goals and nine assists for teammates. Those stats helped him win five man of the match awards and more importantly it saw Inter finish in the Champions League positions.

With Anthony Martial stating (through his agent) that he wants to leave Old Trafford this summer, it would make sense for Mourinho to bring in another attacking wideman and it would also seem logical that he’d go back in for a player he clearly admires.

Many a United fan were left unconvinced by the pursuit of Perisic last summer, they didn’t see the need for another winger. Yet after this World Cup and with some of the problems they had in the wide areas last term, they’d probably be delighted to have an impactful star come in and offer something different on the lefthand side.

Will Manchester United go all in and offer £50m plus in this window? Will Inter want to sell one of their creative talents as they head into the Champions League? Will the player want to make a move to the Premier League

These are all questions that will need to be answered in the coming weeks!

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers – First Impressions

New Rangers manager Steven Gerrard watched on as his new side took to the field in their first competitive match under his guardianship.

It might have been against unknown opponents Macedonian outfit FC Shkupi in the Europa League’s opening qualifying round but the home crowd were out in force to see what Gerrard and his new team could produce.

The early signs were good as The Gers looked comfortable at the back, pressed high up and always looked to get the ball out wide and then into the penalty area.

In fairness to the Macedonian’s they didn’t wilt under the early pressure or the heavy noise coming from the Govan terraces. They slowed the game down, stayed patient and then created the first real chance when Gers captain James Tavernier was caught out of position and a Shkupi attacker hit the bar from a shot on the left.

Rangers then took the lead in the twenty first minute as new permanent signing Jamie Murphy managed to slam the ball home from the lefthand side. The Glasgow giants deserved the goal advantage as they were the hungrier team and were the side on the ascendancy.

You could tell early on that Scott Arfield is a thinker in midfield. He seems to be constantly on the move, looking to get in between the lines and when on the ball he looks to set up efficient attacks.

The Gers goal clearly unsettled their opponents and they struggled to regain their composure as Rangers started to find more passes and create more chances.

As the first-half came to a close, Rangers failed to capitalised on some very good opportunities and it was just 1-0 to the home side as the two teams went into the changing room areas.

Steven Gerrard would’ve been happy with the intent and the work-rate that his players showed in the first forty-five minutes. They rarely looked threatened at the back but complacent moments from Tavernier and new boy Nikola Katic would’ve been a sight concern for the new Gers coaching team.

Ross McCrorie looked more comfortable in the defensive midfield role but you get the feeling that one of Jordan Rossiter, Ryan Jack or Lassana Coulibaly will get that role on a more regular basis.

A rogue sprinkler only delayed the inevitable by a few minutes as Rangers came out and attacked right from the off in the second half. But much like in the opening period, FC Shkupi started to get on the ball more and add some pressure to the Gers backline.

For the opening fifteen minutes of the second half, Rangers looked out of sorts and were playing things at a more pedestrian pace. You could tell it was their first competitive outing of the campaign. They weren’t using the wide areas (as they did in the first half) or getting the ball in forward areas quickly enough.

When they finally started using their width again it almost made an instant impact as a Tavernier cross was headed over by Josh Windass, who then missed another chance shortly after as he could get enough on the ball to direct a drag back towards the opponent’s goal.

Connor Goldson looks to be a calming influence at centre-half. He wasn’t flustered at the back and dealt with any issues that came his way with minimal fuss. The twenty-five year old former Brighton man was also a threat from set-pieces with his aerial ability.

Substitute Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria should’ve had a penalty but the German referee decided that there wasn’t enough contact as the midfielder seemed to be fouled inside the penalty box.

Youngster Glenn Middleton then came on and his direct running managed to get the cheers from the Ibrox faithful.

Murphy managed to win a penalty in injury time for a challenge that looked weaker than the one Ejaria was  ignored for. New club captain James Tavernier didn’t hesitate from the spot and hammered it home giving the Scottish Premiership side a two goal lead for next week.

All in all, it’s hard to really judge this new Gers team of Gerrard’s. They did the basics well and the manager will also be pleased with the cleansheet, especially with a new keeper and defence starting the game.

With so many new faces and so little game time prior to this match, it’s clear that the squad still needs time  to gel.

They’ll be disappointed that they couldn’t score more as they created enough chances to put the tie to bed. As it stands a two goal advantage can still be a nervy one to take to Macedonia, especially if Shkupi score early in the second leg.

The Rangers side simply weren’t ruthless enough, lacked a cutting edge and didn’t seem to have enough creative imagination.

Steven Gerrard will be hoping that the goals will come as the team starts to find it’s feet.

Getting the victory and keeping a cleansheet was the target for the new Gers gaffer and he was able to send the support home happy with this 2-0 victory.

More in-depth judging of this team will come in the future as the tougher games arrive.

Fulham Have Got A Real Gem In Jean-Michael Seri

Fulham have not wasted anytime in bringing in a top class reinforcement as they prepare for life in the Premier League, after spending the last four years away from the English top flight.

In signing Jean-Michael Seri, The Cottagers have managed to bring in a midfielder with superb pedigree.

During the last twelve months the Ivorian has been linked with moves to Barcelona, Liverpool, PSG, Manchester United and Chelsea. Supposedly Barca had gone as far as agreeing a deal with OGC Nice for the player last summer before getting cold feet at the last minute and pulling out of the transfer.

Yet it’s Fulham that have finally taken the plunge and signed the player on a four deal, for a reported fee of £25m.

Seri told his new club’s website that he can’t wait to get started:

“I’m delighted to be here, it’s a new adventure that starts for me and I’m hoping it will all go well.”

The South London side are getting a player who has been described as the ‘African Xavi’.

The Spanish maestro once said of Jean-Michael:

“He is fantastic. He has what they call the Barca DNA. No doubt.”

High praise indeed.

Seri was a huge influence at Nice and he helped guide the Cote d’Azur club to their third placed finish in Ligue 1 in 2017. During that term he scored seven goals and created nine assists.

In the last campaign, he scored two and created five in the French top tier. He managed over 90% in the passing success rate charts and Fulham will see keeping the ball as a vital way of keeping the ball out of their own net next season.

Predominantly he’s a deep-laying playmaker and as you’d expect he has great vision, possesses a terrific passing range and likes to dictate the tempo of the game. Seri is all about creating chances for his team and he’s got a keen eye for doing just that! The twenty-six year old is also an excellent set-piece taker.

He’s not as strong on the defensive side of things, Jean-Michael won’t win you many tackles or headers but he does get around the pitch and harry opponents into making mistakes. Plus let’s not forget that he’s more of a creative spark rather than being a midfield destroyer.

So why would such a talent choose Fulham? It’s not 2001 after all (when Fulham regularly raided Ligue 1 for stars).

Well all the talk of big interest failed to materialise into concrete bids or getting Seri to sign on the dotted line. You simply can’t wait for ever.

Fulham returning to the Premier League and being in London will have probably helped him make the decision. He’ll also join the newly promoted side, knowing he can go straight into the starting eleven and make an impact. If he shines in the English top flight with them, then maybe then the bigger clubs will make serious offers.

The move shows you how foreign players treat the Premier League as a competition that they’re desperate to play in.

I really believe that Fulham have managed to bring in a top star in Jean-Michael Seri and I hope the Ivory Coast international can prove himself at Craven Cottage and show what a talent he really is!

Can Gonzalo Higuain Become Chelsea’s Diego Costa Replacement?

It’s safe to say that Alvaro Morata didn’t have the debut season that the Chelsea support were expecting from him.

The Spaniard struggled to live up to his expensive price tag as he hit just eleven goals in the Premier League and one in the Champions League. Morata certainly didn’t give the team the same impetus and drive that Diego Costa did when he led the line for Chelsea.

The London club seem set to bring in former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri as their new manager in the coming days and the Italian seems determined to bring in his own players in a bid to return the Blues to the Top Four.

One name heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge has been Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine seems destined to leave Turin during this transfer window after the Italian champions signed superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

The Italian press now believe that Chelsea could swoop for Juve pair Higuain and defender Daniele Rugani in a deal believed to be worth around €100m.

After the disappointment of Morata in the last year, it will be hoped that Gonazalo can be the hitman that fires in the goals for the blue half of London next term.

Higuain would offer Chelsea more of a physical presence up-top than Alvaro did in the last campaign.

He’s also very much a clinical finisher, having scored 111 Serie A goals in his five years in the Italian top flight.

Like current Chelsea forward Oliver Giroud, the Argentine international can hold the ball up well and also link-up with those attackers playing in around him in the final third of the field.

Higuain is also smart with his runs and that allows him to create space for himself and/or others. Plus he’s also strong in the air, an attribute that suits the English game.

If Chelsea keep hold of Willian and Eden Hazard and then add Higuain to the ranks, they’ll have superb creators and a lethal hitman in the box that can put away chance after chance.

Last season he struck sixteen times in thirty-two league starts and he also bagged five Champions League strikes in ten appearances.

At Chelsea (when Sarri’s eventually announced) he’ll be working under a boss that knows all his strengths and how the team can play to them. Their time together at Napoli was probably the best scoring years of Gonzalo’s career thus far.

Interestingly after the striker left Naples for Turin, Sarri explained that while he hated Higuain’s decision he still saw the forward as son:

“For a while I didn’t hear from him and, to be honest, I didn’t want to hear from him. It’s like when your son makes you angry: For a few days you feel like tearing into him, but at the end of the day he remains your son.”

That shows you the bond the two must have for each other.

In Gonzalo Higuain, Chelsea could be about to get a goal getter that will hopefully make the fans forget about Diego Costa.

What will it mean for Alvaro Morata? Only time will tell!

Picture Blog: Everton – Goodison Park

I recently went on a trip to Florence but as I flew out of Liverpool, I thought it was only right to visit the two famous grounds that are only separated by a public park.

First up is Everton’s Goodison Park. It’s a stadium that reminds me a lot of Ibrox Stadium, which is still my favourite ground!

As always feel free to use any of these pics, just make sure to let me know and to credit TheFootyblog.net

Maturing Man United Ace Paul Pogba Is France’s Heartbeat At This World Cup

Paul Pogba arrived at this summer’s World Cup with plenty to prove.

He had a bit of a mixed season at Manchester United. He started the campaign with a bang, got injured, struggled to find form before starting to find his feet again just before the domestic club season ended.

Questions about his temperament and his ability to show up for big games still surrounded the flamboyant French midfielder. People would say that he stood out more due to his whacky hairstyles and his choreographed celebrations rather than his footballing ability on the field.

He’s been accused of not being tactically clever, disciplined or mature enough when performing for Man United last year.

Yet that’s not been the case in Russia this summer.

When France have needed a leader, Pogba (like Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane and Oliver Giroud) has been one of the stars to step up.

Alongside N’Golo Kante, Paul has shone both defensively as well as in attacking positions. He’s been smart to hold off and make the right runs at the right times. When his nation has needed to keep the ball, Pogba has found the right pass or held the ball up at the corner flag. Only Kante has won the ball back more in this tournament and he’s played a game more.

Paul always seems to be one of the fittest players on the park come the end of the game, having the legs come the 80th minute and beyond is so vital to the team!

His forward thinking has helped create goals, whether it’s through his runs or his decisive passing.

In a lot of ways the dynamic midfielder has kept things simple and that’s seen his performances become more consistent. He seems determined to stick to his role and do a job for the French national team.

Against Belgium in the semi-final, Pogba managed to make three tackles, he won three aerial duels and had  a 90% passing success rate. It seemed like the Belgian side had started Marouane Fellaini as a player to spoil his Man United teammate’s style and rhythm, yet it was the big man who was left disappointed as he couldn’t snuff Pogba out.

In the face of adversity, even some in France have doubted Paul Pogba’s ability in the big encounters, the Les Bleus number six has showed a desire to help France get to this World Cup final.

Plaudits rightly fall to the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Kyllian Mbappe, who’ve also been sensational, but for me it’s Pogba that makes France tick.

His Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has come out and praised his midfielder:

“I think a very good performance by Pogba,”

“Pogba was mature, he played with maturity when he had to, to hold position and keep control of the play he did.”

Jose needs to get the best out of Paul Pogba and to do it on a regular basis at Old Trafford.

First and foremost, the twenty-five year old has the chance to help France win only their second World Cup in Moscow this Sunday and he’s showing that he’s very capable of doing just that!

Liverpool Are Right To Chase Juve’s Paulo Dybala

In these days of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, it’s understandable that many a team would look at Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo for around £100m as an opportunity to raid the Italian champions and improve their own squad.

The Ronaldo deal seems to have piqued Liverpool’s interest in Argentine forward Paulo Dybala, with reports suggesting that the Anfield club could be willing to pay around £80m for the player’s services this summer.

Dybala has certainly been Juve’s star player in recent seasons but his nose could be out of joint now that the Turin club have splashed out a fortune to bring in the Portuguese superstar.

At the World Cup in Russia, Paulo spent most of his time on the bench looking on as Lionel Messi was once again Argentina’s talisman. The twenty-four year old probably won’t want to be placed behind Ronaldo’s shadow at Juve.

If Ronaldo’s arrival has cast any doubts in Dybala, then Liverpool should definitely make a move.

Dybala is a fantastic talent and one of those forward players that seems to be on the cusp of being a world class star.

In his three seasons at Juve, Paulo has grabbed fifty-two Serie A goals and twenty-one assists.

His goalscoring record is particularly strong when you consider he plays mainly as an attacking midfielder. These stats back-up the fact that the former Palermo man is a composed finisher and has a keen eye for a key pass. Elements that would show up well in Jurgen Klopp’s current Liverpool set-up.

He’s a technically gifted player, has great close control and a wonderful dribbling skillset. The attacker is also a fine set-piece taker and can also hold the ball up in tight situations.

Ultimately Paulo Dybala is a player on the rise and has the ability to create and score a bundle of goals. He’d be a sublime talent that would certainly enhance the Reds starting eleven.

Now I should add caution, I don’t think it’s a certainty that he’ll leave the Italian giants this summer.

Going back to Uefa’s FFP and La Vecchia Signora could sell a few other players and that would solve those financial fair play issues.

Chelsea could be a big help in this case.

The London club have been heavily linked with two Juve stars during this transfer window.

It’s been suggested that they’re very close in wrapping up a deal for defender Daniele Rugani. The Italian centre-back failed to really establish himself as a top defender last term and it could be ideal to sell him for £35m this summer.

You then have striker Gonzalo Higuian, and he’s the most likely to be directly impacted by Cristiano’s arrival in Italy. Ronaldo will be played as the main forward and that’s the position of Higuain. The thirty year old moved to Serie A because he couldn’t fit into the same team as Ronaldo at Real Madrid, so I doubt he’ll fair any better this time around. Chelsea are supposedly lurking and ready to make €60m move for the hitman.

Those two possible transfers out to Chelsea could see Juve recoup most of that fee they’ve just paid out on their new number seven. Others like Juan Cuadrado, Marko Pjaca and Alex Sandro have also been linked with moves away from the Allianz Stadium.

Then there’s the fact that I think Juve boss Massimilano Allegri might fancy playing Ronaldo and Dybala together in the same team.

While everyone and their auntie compares Cristiano and Messi, the fact is the two are very different footballers. Messi and Dybala pick-up certain areas of the field and they can end up in the same space. Yet Ronaldo, especially now, is more about hanging around the penalty area.

Allegri could see Dybala as a perfect partner for Ronaldo, the Argentine could provide the right passes to create glorious chances for the new megabucks signing. In return, Paulo could learn a lot from his new world class teammate and that could take Paulo Dybala into the same kind of level as Messi and Ronaldo.

It should also be noted that the Argentine was quick to post a welcoming message to his new teammate:

Juventus last season played in a 4-2-3-1 formation in a lot of their games and Dybala shone in the number ten role. It seems natural that Ronaldo would come in and take up the lone striker’s position.

Ultimately Liverpool are right to enquire about Paulo Dybala’s availability, it’s prudent to ask and make sure you’re first in line in case Juventus are willing to sell such a sublime talent. I’m just not convinced he’ll leave Turin this summer.